He Acts for Those Who Wait for Him

| Tue, Sep 27, 2011 | Set 1 Week 39

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Let’s face it—Americans are simply not very good at waiting. We live in a land of fast food and instant gratification. We pace waiting rooms. We complain about traffic. We dread flight delays. To these mundane experiences of waiting we could add more long-term and painful examples—the forty-year old single waiting for a spouse, the aspiring mother waiting to conceive, the unemployed father waiting for work, the chronically ill person waiting for a cure. Perhaps you have grown weary in your waiting, and you find yourself praying “How long, O Lord?”

Our fighter verse this week was written to a people weary of waiting. In Isaiah 63:7–8, the prophet remembers Yahweh’s steadfast love and compassion. He recalls Yahweh’s words (“Surely they are my people”) and deeds (“And he became their Savior”). Yet he also records the questions of the present:

  • Where is he who brought them up out of the sea…?” (63:11)
  • Where is he who put in the midst of them his Holy Spirit…” (63:11)
  • Where are your zeal and your might?” (63:15)
  • “O Yahweh, why do you make us wander from your ways…?” (63:17)

In this context of these questions, Isaiah 64:4 fixes our attention not on the gap between our experience of what is and our gut sense for what ought to be, but on the God who absolutely is: “From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him.”

Consider two truths in this text:

First, our God is unique, unrivaled by competing deities past or present. “I am God, and there is none like me” (Isa 46:9). What distinguishes Yahweh from the competition? He is the only God who acts for his people. God acted decisively at the Exodus, when Moses called Israel to “see the salvation of Yahweh, which he will work for you today…. Yahweh will fight for you, and you have only to be silent” (Exod 14:13–14). Then in the fullness of time God acted by sending his Son to save us from sin and reconcile us to God.

Second, because Yahweh is this sort of God who works for his people, we are called to wait for him. “Waiting” for God to act is not a call to passive resignation, but to confident, prayerful, hope-filled expectation. We remember what God has done in the past and what he promises to do in the future. And so in the midst of an uncertain present we wait for our God—the Creator, Redeemer, and Lord of all—to show up in power and work his sovereign good purposes in our lives.



2 Responses to “He Acts for Those Who Wait for Him”

  1. Becki Warnock Says:

    This is very encouraging, thank you!

    Aspiring to that confident, prayerful, hope-filled expectation!


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